WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, current member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who has introduced legislation with Sen. Chris Coons to combat the theft of trade secrets and intellectual property, issued the following statement Monday after the U.S. Department of Justice announced it has filed charges against Chinese government officials who hacked U.S. businesses:
One of the greatest threats to our economy is the online theft of intellectual property. Today’s announcement by the Justice Department is further evidence that these criminal acts persist and require government enforcement. We must act now to stop such theft. I commend the administration for taking action, and I look forward to working with them to address the root of this threat to our economy, so we can better protect American jobs.
A grand jury in the Western District of Pennsylvania indicted five Chinese military hackers for computer hacking, economic espionage, and other offenses directed at six American victims in the U.S. nuclear power, metals, and solar products industries.
The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to hack into American entities to maintain unauthorized access to their computers and to steal information from those entities that would be useful to their competitors in China, including state-owned enterprises. In some cases, it alleges, the conspirators stole trade secrets that would have been particularly beneficial to Chinese companies at the time they were stolen. In other cases, it alleges, the conspirators also stole sensitive, internal communications that would provide a competitor, or an adversary in litigation, with insight into the strategy and vulnerabilities of the American entity.
According to the FBI’s press release, the following summarizes the indictment:
Defendants: Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu, and Gu Chunhui, who were officers in Unit 61398 of the Third Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. The indictment alleges that Wang, Sun, and Wen, among others known and unknown to the grand jury, hacked or attempted to hack into U.S. entities named in the indictment, while Huang and Gu supported their conspiracy by, among other things, managing infrastructure (e.g., domain accounts) used for hacking.
Victims: Westinghouse Electric Co.; U.S. subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG; United States Steel Corp.; Allegheny Technologies Inc.; the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union; and Alcoa Inc.
Time period: 2006-2014
Crimes: 31 counts (detailed in the FBI statement linked below)
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